SMU Volleyball Falls To UTEP

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EL PASO, Texas (SMU) – Caroline Young had a team-high 12 kills for the Mustangs, and freshman Cailin Bula had 11 kills and 10 digs for her first double-double, but Xitali Herrera had 18 kills to lead UTEP to a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16) over SMU Friday night.

Courtney Manning added eight kills and had five blocks, taking her career total to 558. The senior needs 20 blocks to climb into second all-time in conference USA history. Maddie Lozano scored nine kills with two blocks, and Olivia Bailey had 43 assists.

UTEP ended the match in the fourth set, taking its second 25-16 win of the match. After SMU (9-16, 6-7 Conference USA) won the third, the Miners (14-11, 8-5 C-USA) stretched a one-point, 7-6 lead to a six-point, 13-7 lead. The Mustangs cut the lead to three, 15-12, but couldn’t get any closer.

Down a set going into the second, the Mustangs found themselves trailing by seven, 19-11, but scored six of the next seven points to cut the Miner lead to two, 20-18. SMU cut the lead to one, 21-20, but UTEP held on at the end to take a 25-23 win to go up 2-0 in the match.

The Mustangs kept the match going, holding off a late charge by the Miners for a 25-20 victory in the third. Leading 9-8, the Mustangs went on a 7-3 run for a 16-11 lead. SMU stretched the lead to six, but with a 23-18 lead, UTEP scored the next two points to cut the lead to three, 23-20. SMU held on for the next two points for the win.

SMU wraps up the road trip at Tulane Sunday in New Orleans, La., at 1 p.m. The Mustangs conclude the conference season next weekend at home against Houston on Friday night and host Rice for Senior Day Sunday at 1 p.m.

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